Language of the People

“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Acts 22:1-2

It’s obvious that Paul was fluent in several languages. He knew when to use each language. He knew the power of using the mother tongue of those he was speaking with.

One of the daunting things for many new missionaries is learning a new language. There is a ton of memorization involved and it’s just a slow process. You have to worry about accents, dialects, speech patterns, nuances, idioms, proverbs, and colloquialisms, to name a few. Then you have to find people who are patient enough with you to help you practice. Many locals love that you’re learning their language and will do what they can to help you along. But it’s still a slow process.

When I learned Russian many years ago I studied constantly, 6 hours a day and another 6-7 hours at night minimum. But I got to a point that the six hours at night was less than one. I wasn’t the first to notice it; someone else remarked that my study time was greatly reduced because I had put in the long hours early on.

Perhaps you’re aware of a new couple on the mission field. You should pray for them not to be discouraged about language. It’s a process that just takes time and a lot of effort. In the end, though, they are able to communicate in the language of the people they came to serve.

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